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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering what ammo to use in my RB 454, against bears. Black or Brown since I won't be reloading depending on the color. I read a post a while back about using 260 grain XTP hollowpoints for black bear since they would stop attacking and try to get out the "Burning Bee" giving you a good follow up shot. I was thinking more along the lines of Corbon 320 grain FP Penetrators or Buffalo Bore 300 grain J.F.N. so I could get maximum penetration. I do not handload so factory ammo have to work for now. I am new to Alaska and had to many times last summer/fall when I wish I was packing more than my pit bull. Hope you fellows can educate me on what load I should be packing.
 

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Good question!

Your going to recieve a lot of varied responces here. There are some good posts in the archives of the site that you may want to search for them on this subject.

I was just in New York and brought back what I consider to be the best load. 3" 1 3/8 oz. Brenneke 12 gauge slugs. The carrying of a shotgun/rife argument will last forever. The handgun issue on the other hand has people selecting sides. I would go with the heaviest load that you can carry and shoot accurately with a hardcast bullet.

When I do carry, I use a .44 with 300 grain hardcasts and an ample supply of H110. I like to carry a handgun for several reasons: It is always on my hip, not leaning against a tree, easy to handle in the dense brush/tent/boat/whatever. It might not do the job, but at least mentally I feel more secure. (third choice of carry)

For the shotgun: 2 rounds of 3" steel BB's followed by three Brenneke slugs. (first choice of carry)

My rifle: 7600 .35 Whelen with 250 grain Speers (second choice of carry)

Actually my first choice would be an M79 grenade launcher and HE round.

Welcome to the forum! We have a great bunch of posters here and a good group from Alaska that is growing every day. :D
 

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Dave,

M79 :shock: ? You're showing your age :) ...and your roots. I wish we carried that over the back instead of the M-203 under the M-16.

I carry hard cast 320 gr loads in my 44 mag and am still trying to work out what to carry in my 454 -- I'm leaning toward 360 hard cast from Cor-Bon.
 

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everyonce in a while

Matt:
Everyonce in a while the flyboys with the choppers would drop our chow from about 50-100 feet off and it would smash on the ground. So the M79 came in handy for shooting peacocks out of roost trees for dinner. Heinz 57 sauce and a well roasted peacock is pretty good!
 

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:-D ROTFLMAO. Can't say I've been there and done that.

Killed a "thobe" lizard in Bahrain in '91 though but he stunk so bad we just couldn't roast him up. You find the critters by looking for their fat tails sticking out of the sand -- thin tails belong to desert cobras. Hint --drinking beer tends to make it more difficult to tell the difference between fat and thin tails...but it's a self-correcting problem if you know what I mean :)

Watched TV yesterday and saw a classmate of mine from Army Command and General Staff College operating in Northern Iraq -- said a prayer that his enemies would wall before him :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the quick replys Matt and Dave. I have heard that the best gun is the one bigger than the one your carrying. I do carry a 12Ga With Slugs when I'm deep into the mountains hiking but don't like carrying one while i'm walking through the neighborhood to the trails with my dog for a walk. But carrying a side arm at work for many years makes it easy and very fast to action. I have some Corbon 320gr. FP Penetrators that are just one nasty round and @1600fps and 1819fpe they seem to me they maybe the ticket.
 

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The mayor of Barrow carries a .44mag under his coat for defense against polar bears, especially in Winter when they have a strong tendency to come into town to hunt the only available food (residents). I haven't spoken to him in a while, indeed, I don't even know if he's still the mayor, but it was my impression that it was the old reliable S&W with the long barrel. Under the coat to keep the oil oily, and not frozen. He rides a bicycle to work, even in the Winter. Polar bears are one of the few animals that actually have a tendency to scare me...they are DEFINITELY nothing to fool with; they're smart and mean, and agressive. If a .44mag would do the job, that's what I'd use.
Probably the BEST weapon I ever saw for use against dangerous game was a machan pistol. It was British, for use by tiger hunters in India. This is the type of hunting in which a bait animal is tethered out in a clearing and the hunter(s) wait in a platform (machan) built in a tree, and shoot the tiger with a rifle while he's busy eating the bait. Apparently, this was not always a successful idea, and sometimes the tiger would take it into his head to investigate the area more thoroughly, thereby coming upon the machan and its occupant(s). This was not considered funny. Tigers are very tall when they stand on their hind legs, and they can jump like crazy, like all cats. Ergo, a defensive weapon was needed that could be more readily deployed at close quarters than the rifle. Hence the machan pistol. The one I saw was built on a double-rifle action with about 10" side-by-side barrels. Pistol grip about like a dueller. Caliber .577 Snider (the old British Military rifle round). I understand it kicked like a mule, but pretty much destroyed anything in front of it. Sounds like it might be good for bears. The punishment to the hand would be compensated for by the effectiveness of the hit. IF YOU HIT!
 

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Cor Bons 335 hard cast is a great bullet.But the 360 gr.Came in very well in penetration test against 458 Win mag and 500 Nitro.The old 45-70 was first tho with 540 gr. from Garrett Cartridges.
 

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.454 vs. bears.....

My hiking/back up hunting gun is also a .454, (customized Ruger Super Redhawk). I would recommend any GOOD 300 grn or heavier bullet in factory ammo. The Freedom Arms or Winchester 300 grn JFP is a very hard thick jacketed bullet, I used it on an Alaskan Bull moose at 110 yards and got total penetration. I'm sure the CorBon, Buffalo Bore, or Garrett Cartridges ammo w/300 grn or heavier bullets would also work great. If you had any questions about their products, call them and tell them what you are looking for.

Get some good ammo, know where it hits at 25 yards & less, and carry it "all the time" when you're out in bear country - the one time you don't is when a bear will come visit you (trust me on this one)!! :wink:

Have fun & be aware while your out there!
Del
 

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Last night!

Last night I mounted my broadheads and sighted in the bow out to 30 yards. Friday morning I am out of here to test out the theories as stated above.

I am taking the .44 with the 300 grain hardcast for protection and if I wound one; the 12 gauge and Brennke slugs.

Sounds like more fun than rush hour traffic.
 

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how' that sneak and peak go Dave?

ditto on the 12 and slugs. scratch the blooper, it took to many rotations to arm in close quarters, much less a bear hug.

I carry a 1911 with me in big bear areas, like whittier AK or dubuios WY. I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
 

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So far this year.....ADK guides...

the good Lord is waiting to surprize me with something special as he has been holding off from presenting me with any targets.

Hey I last lived in Watertown and was born in Syracuse. Someone on the New York page last winter was looking for a Adk guide. You might want to go over have have a look see. I even wrote NYS Dept. of Cons. and they could not supply a list.
 

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thanks Dave, didn't know there was a NY page, haven't got that far yet.

have some down time waiting for a guest who missed his connecting flight to here so thought I'd follow up on the sites folks are always sending us.
 

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deffinantly use a hard cast bullet. If my life depended on it I would load the heaviest hard cast keith that my gun would shoot well. I wont argue that a slug gun my be better but the only reason would be that it would be easier to hit with. A hard cast bullet out of your .454 will outpenentrate any shotgun slug weve proven it and one advantage to a handgun is that its allways on your side not leaned up against a tree because its a pain to carry.
 

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Hard cast?

What is hard cast? Is it a type of lead? How does it perform in relation to jacketed bullets? Do you actually cast it? Is it only available to those who hunch gnome-like over their reloaders for hours?

Please alleviate my ignorance (and obviously, I don't hand load! :)).
 

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penetration is an arguement had by those who never had a bear on them. At 5 feet and less penetration differences of inches even a foot is a moot point.

you need something that will make abear stop chewing on you. period.

my partner has been bitten three times in his life, hopefully that's it, and every single time the bear was on him before he had knowledge of it's presence.

yes, handguns are easier to carry, yes most pack enough punch that when you push the muzzle into a bear it will get off you.

at 30 feet and closing I doubt 1 out of 100 people can hit a bear with a handgun. practice on rolling barrels downhill?

don't bother, if you think you need to practice for a bear about to eat me shot, have your ex wife get behind the wheel of your pickup and as she flies at you at 30 mph try to hit the head light, cause a leg shot or gut shot bear just speeds up.

do I want to try that shot one handed with a wrist busting handgun caliber or a pump shotgun full of slugs?

I'm a sissy, give me the multiple shot long gun everytime, as I say, I do carry handguns when it's impossible for me to carry a long gun.

as far as accuracy and bullet densities, if you are shooting far enough to think in hunting applications, such as penetration at 25 yards, or bullet deformation at 30 then you are not really in danger, the bear is just close.
 

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Slugs or OO buck?
 

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Slugs

Slugs, Brenneke 3". And my handgun is stainless. That way I figure I will at least have a permanent gravestone if everything goes wrong! :)
 
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